Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Only Certainty regarding Newcastle's Transfer Policy Is It Has Created More Uncertainty

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Only Certainty regarding Newcastle's Transfer Policy Is It Has Created More Uncertainty

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK DOUGLAS

SO it turns out the most significant addition to Newcastle during the summer transfer window has been uncertainty.

Uncertainty over Rafa Benitez's future, promises made, broken and kept, over the club's direction, its ambition and - to put it bluntly - exactly where the unprecedented money United will bank for their season in the Premier League is going to be spent.

Six players have arrived - "I signed what I could, not what I wanted," Rafa Benitez has repeated several times - but despite well-sourced talk of late business - the Spaniard said it himself - Newcastle have not made the additions the manager wanted or that the team needed.

The Magpies needed Premier League quality - what they have s more problems and a sense of foreboding surrounding the role of Justin Barnes, whose arrival coincides with Benitez's frustration. Spin that one, Keith Bishop.

Don't dress it up any other way: the situation is unacceptable and the squad has not been upgraded significantly enough for what now looks like a long top-flight winter.

There are issues all over the squad: does it have enough creativity? Enough goals? Enough quality? The two most damning failures are for Newcastle not to solve two of Benitez's most pressing concerns: the goalkeeper situation and shoring up the left-back position.

Benitez was desperate to bring in a new goalkeeper with Premier League quality to improve a position he sees as the bedrock of a successful team.

The truth is United did not get close to adding anyone of the quality he envisaged.

Similarly, he had sourced leftbacks all summer but ended the window without a single fit specialist in that department. It was the same when he took over, a situation that he found barely believable.

Now he faces the same problem Steve McClaren was contending with when he was sacked with the team mired in the relegation zone. …

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